For immediate release – 10 January 2017
The Poverty Alliance has reacted to the news that seven job centres are to close in Glasgow with disappointment and frustration. At a time when the UK Government have focused on work as the sole route out of poverty, it makes no sense to pursue a move that will only make it more difficult for people to enter employment.
The job centres targeted for closure represent some of the city’s highest areas with deprivation, and making it more difficult for people in these areas to access social security benefits and employment support will just push them further into poverty.
The current sanctions regime has made accessing social security almost impossible for many people, particularly young people and this move is likely to put people off claiming the support that they are entitled to.
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said:
“This is the latest in a long line of policy decisions which will impact negatively on people living on low incomes and young people.
“The UK Government has pursued years of punitive measures aimed at reducing the number of people benefits, regardless of the outcome. If that wasn't enough, they are now further withdrawing the face to face support that can make the difference for so many people.
“We know that applying for benefits is already a difficult and daunting process for many, and this is yet another hurdle for people to tackle.
“If this is really not about reducing benefit take up by making it harder for people to apply, then the DWP should stop sanctioning people for lateness and build more flexibility into appointment times.
“People must also be provided with the money to cover their travel expenses in advance.
“We are calling on the DWP to reverse their decision and keep these job centres open as they are a valuable lifeline for communities”.